As Conservatives, we all know that Free Speech – including the right to voice unpopular opinions – is an essential part of a functioning democracy. The ability to stand up and criticize oppressive powers, including patriarchal institutions, the government, and the like is important if our mission is to succeed in its efforts. But as responsible human beings we must also realize like all freedoms it has a limit, and that limit, while sometimes legally blurry, must be treated with respect.
For instance it is perfectly within the realm of Free Speech to be criticizing the death cult of Islam. Indeed it makes sense to criticize a collectivist, totalitarian cult whose goal is to deny us of our basic human rights and individual liberties. It is equally within the realm of Free Speech to criticize patriarchal sexists, racists, fascists and communists whose goal is to abuse our freedoms. True conservatives should stand by women and minorities to protect their essential rights from such bigoted individuals.
The absolute right to Free Speech can only be present if the community as a whole is completely in agreement with each other and there is nobody who actively wants to use the right of free speech to infringe on the rights of others. To put this in other terms, the right to free speech is not and should not be a completely unrestricted, unlimited right in all situations and in all circumstances. You are not protected under the constitution if you publish libellous articles that are clearly untrue, nor are you protected if you are attempting to incite riots, or – to use the most famous example, if you yell “fire” in a crowded theatre.
By the same token, hate speech also does not apply to virulent, nasty, repulsive hate groups such as the KKK, white Nationalists, any Islamic group, anti-semites (including anti-Zionists), or homophobic organizations like the Westboro Baptist Church. Such people are really not interested in freedom or free speech. Their goal instead is to deny others free speech through systematic discourse poisoning and intimidation. Because true conservatives want preserve our values, and to maintain the order of the status quo, applying the appropriate litmus tests is crucial in determining what constitutes real free speech and what is merely hateful blabbering which serves no purpose other than to deny other people their freedom.
Some libertarians will say I am being unfare. Particularly supporters of Ron Paul think that the constitution should be taken literally in every circumstance. This kind of “literalism” is actually fundamentalist authoritarianism in disguise and trying to justify their moral relativism by using a document written over 230 years ago.
In closing, Just Remember: Hate Speech is Not Free Speech.